As many of you already know Amnesty International recently abandoned its neutral stance on abortion and thereby abandoned the most vulnerable members of our society, the unborn.
On May 18, 2007 Fr Chris Middleton SJ, Principal at St Aloysius College (a Catholic independent day school, for boys from grade 3 to grade 12), Milson’s Point, in Sydney, Australia who has been an active member of Amnesty for many years made this statement:
As a Catholic priest and the Principal of a school with an active Amnesty group, such a change in policy places me in the unwanted position of contemplating the closing down of Amnesty’s presence in the school.
Recently, after Amnesty International reaffirmed its decision to endorse abortion on August 18, Fr. Chris did just that – severed his school’s ties with Amnesty and started a new group called The Benenson Society. Here is a statement that Father Chris sent out to announce his decision.
The society will be called the Benenson Society, after Peter Benenson, the Catholic lawyer who founded Amnesty, and will hopefully embody something of the spirituality, as well as idealism, that led to the formation of Amnesty. The Benenson Society will have as its symbol a stylised white rose. This symbol draws inspiration from the White Rose Society, a group of Catholic and Protestant students and teachers at Munich University, who opposed Nazism with letters and pamphlets, with nine paying the ultimate price of being guillotined for their stand for human rights. A film about one of its members, Sophie Scholl, was released recently. Over the next few months we will work on a charter for the group with Mrs Connolly and the boys. Already schools from Sydney and Melbourne have expressed interest in the project, and it may well be a model that many school groups could follow.
I would like to urge parents and teachers to consider approaching their Catholic and Christian schools to try to get them to sever their Amnesty ties and perhaps follow Father Chris’s courageous example.
Below are links to pages (along with the above links) that you might want to print up to bring to your principal/school:
And finally there is a great blog dedicated to this topic – where you can get more information on this issue.
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